Family films to see at the cinema this week
Fancy a trip to the cinema, but don’t know what would be fun with the kids? Here’s our up-to-date guide of family films, written by Mike Davies especially with families and kids in mind. Everything from small scale films to great blockbusters for all the family!
Please note that not all 12A films are appropriate for younger children. Let’s Go With The Children offers a guide to what’s suitable for family viewing.
New releases out now
The Lego Ninjago Movie (U)
The third in the big screen Lego adventures, this is a martial arts mirror of the Luke/Darth Vader relationship in Star Wars with a helping of Power Rangers. Centred around high schooler Lloyd (Dave Franco), the son of supervillain Garmadon (Justin Theroux) whose base is an offshore volcano. Understandably ostracised, no one knows that along with four of his schoolmates, Lloyd is secretly the Green Ninja. He is one of a team of heroes (including Ice, Fire, Water, and Lightning) who, under the mentorship of his uncle (Jackie Chan), battle Garmadon to keep the city of Ninjago safe. Framed by flimsy live action sequences as a shopkeeper (Chan) recounts the story to a young boy, there’s a lot of estranged father/son sentiment to go with the action. The pair are forced to team up to fight an ever greater Godzilla-style threat (a live action cat, actually), but, despite some sly touches and the familiar self-awareness, it falls considerably short of the Emmett and Batman Lego movies. 101mins.
LGWTC guidance: Fun, but a few bricks short of the full playset.
Friday 20th October
My Little Pony: The Movie (U)
It may be cantering for the preschool girl audience, but that’s surely no excuse for the uninspired animation and the plodding story for this big screen extension to the hugely successful TV series. But, if they adore it on TV, why bother upping production values if you don’t need to. As far as the story goes, the Mane 6, Princess Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong), Applejack (Ashleigh Ball), Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball again), Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain), Pinkie Pie and Shutterfly (both Andrea Libman) are getting ready for Equestria’s annual Festival of Friendship when along comes the villainous Storm King (Liev Schreiber), his hedgehog sidekick Grubber and Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt), an embittered unicorn with a broken horn, to spoil everything, looking to kidnap the princesses and steal their power for themselves. The ponies escape, and go off in search of Queen Novo (Uzo Aduba) for help, a journey that involves them with a pirate captain (Zoe Saldana), a con-artist cat (Taye Diggs), and an over-excitable seapony (Kristin Chenoweth). It’s good to see some girl power, friendship, kindness and self-reliance messages being trotted out while the song by Sia (who also voices pop star Songbird Serenade) isn’t bad, but, while all those uncritical little girls will be love it, faced with almost 100 minutes of bland sugary sweetness, grown-ups might well sympathise with the Storm King when he says “I’m so totally over the cute pony thing!” 99 mins.
LGWTC guidance: Strictly for young fans, if you’re older than your shoe size, this isn’t for you.
Ones to look out for!
Thor: Ragnarok (12A)
Although Chris Hemsorth’s cocky God of Thunder makes this one of the more tongue in cheek Marvel characters, there’s not much to laugh about when Hela (Cate Blanchett), Goddess of Death, takes on Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in an attempt to destroy Asgard and rebuild it in her image. Meanwhile, following Age of Ultron, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe, without his hammer, and, if he is to escape and prevent Ragnarok, the end of Asgard, he first has to defeat his fellow Avenger – The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
Paddington 2 (U)
Happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, Paddington has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs (including a not very successful window cleaner) to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. Ben Wishaw again voices Paddington and joining he cast this time are Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson.
Justice League (12A)
Faced with the threat of Steppenwolf, the herald of alien warlord Darkseid, who has been sent to Earth to hunt down three hidden artefacts, Batman (Ben Affleck) finds himself having to join forces and put together a team of superheroes, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa), to defend the planet. The big question is, of course, is Superman back from the dead?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (12A)
There’s a wall of secrecy surrounding the plot, but with the late Han Solo’s son, Ben (Adam Driver), seemingly on course to become the next Darth Vader, Rey (Daisy Ridley) seeking to finds her role in events and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) emerging from his self-imposed exile, apparently convinced the Jedi must end, the trailer promises plenty of action and, quite possibly, the death of another major character.